As PR professionals, the bottom line of what we need to do on a daily basis is maintain client satisfaction. Keeping our partners happy is the best source of future business. Existing clients will continue to use our offerings if they are pleased with our service. This, in turn, makes them a great referral source for new clients, so keeping everyone happy can be instrumental in growing our PR portfolios.
Here are five quick tips on how to develop and maintain a strong relationship with your clients:
Getting to know your client well from the very beginning will help a great deal in building a strong and lasting working relationship. Understanding your client’s key contact on a personal level, including their idiosyncrasies and foibles, will assist you in better interacting with them.
You should always undertake a degree of homework before meeting a new client. Researching their business before your first meeting will demonstrate that you have an idea about their business and interests, making them much more likely to trust you with their account.
Even if you know your client’s business well, they are the still the expert in their field of operations. Encourage an open dialogue so that they can inform you of any developments and wider industry issues that you should be aware of. Not only will this greatly assist in your planning and with ideas for new initiatives for your client, it also shows that you are a proactive professional who is keen to learn as much as possible about what they do.
Your clients will be constantly judging your progress, your performance and the quality of service you provide. Criticism is a natural part of your relationship, so when it comes, treat it objectively and as a chance for improvement. Encouraging your account contact to be critical shows that you are keen to do your best and that you are looking for areas where you can do better. This openness will help cement your relationship as partners working towards the same goals.
Adding value to your contract is another great way to show your commitment to your client’s business. Consider more than the minimum requirements of deliverables and deadlines by thinking outside the box for additions that will bring extra functionality to their business. Going the extra mile will prove to your client that not only are you on top of the work and capable of managing the account, but that you value their business and are keen to maintain the relationship.